Do filmmakers really set out to make a bad film? What constitutes a bad film? Perhaps in making a bad film, there is genuine time, value and workmanship put into it and would therefore be a good film. Canadian filmmaker Matt Frame has assembled a horror spoof piece that falls into all three of these. This film is Camp Death III in 2D which was completed in June 2018, having put four years time it with the hopeful outcome the viewer will put four minutes into it.
Keep reading after the trailer
Camp Death III in 2D is a stupid film – completely inane
Camp Death III a spoof out of MAD Monster Party but in live action that doesn’t quite hit National Lampoon but sails way over it. Too often did I have to remind myself that I was watching a comedy piece as I kept reverting back to wishing it really was a horror film! Let’s put it bluntly, this movie is a fucking cartoon; with the speed seeming as if it was on one-notch fast-forward of a DVR’d program. Perhaps it was the screener stream speed but then the timing question was answered by the dialogue and music tracks which lined up perfectly so needless to say, this corniness was as deliberate as the material itself.
“No matter the cheesy platter this spoof served up, it was all cleverly strung together to present the most cornball play-up of Friday the 13th possible.”
Wondering in what narrative tone I would present this review, I opted for this first-person forthright measure because I can convey what I want to say or just swear about. I didn’t think it was possible to be annoyed by the word “FUCK” but somehow, this movie made that happen within the first few minutes. Courtesy of the character Mel Boogjumper (Darren Andrichuk), he spouts off so many F-bombs that I wanted to just say “SHUT THE FUCK UP!” you stupid character and this haphazardly written dialogue. The comedy is clever, sometimes very unique, but relies too heavily on vulgarity which, having had one friend who tried out as a stand-up comedian and failed, means poor choice that easily says that you lack creativity to quip liners with definitive comedy and tone. Not to say the whole thing is a failure, saved by one character randomly breaking into verse; his song actually makes me laugh!
Camp Death III, a deliberate ploy?
Why am I hating so much on this independent feature? Maybe I’m not. It is my opinion that this overuse of “Fuck” and the fact the characters got under my skin so much was all a deliberate ploy. No matter the cheesy platter this spoof served up, it was all cleverly strung together to present the most cornball play-up of Friday the 13th possible. In fact, it doesn’t just riff on Friday the 13th as a comedic love letter; it adds Sleepaway Camp, Evil Dead, Jurassic Park and even Return of the Jedi into the satire.
Oh yeah, this movie is an ode to Friday the 13th Part 3 – albeit extremely loose and by way of the title and setting. The title does evoke a laugh – twisting the classic “in 3D” headline to promoting the standard 2D which nobody ever does. The story follows Todd Boogjumper (Dave Peniuk taking this lead role) as he works with his Uncle Mel to restore the camp and turn it into a place for special needs; a place to take in troubled youth. Troubled might be the understatement given this diverse cast of characters – further idiots by the way (deliberate!). The camp has long been closed because of the murders that took place by the presumed-dead boy Johann Van Damme (Terry Mullett) and his revenge-driven mother (Gerald Varga). Not only does it become the question of whether Johann has returned, but the story brings up a shocking re-inclusion of his mother near the climax. It still keeps with the Friday the 13th throwbacks but there is a bit of a twist which I don’t have the heart to spoil here. I was genuinely interested in Rachel Diaz (Angela Galanopoulos) since she came off as the most constructed character in the whole piece. Galanopoulos actually played the screen to be as legit as she could while keeping the winking eye at the audience. However, my favorite character… the squirrel!
The opening credits sequence was wonderful! Something wonderful in this movie – I know right! It’s true though. Homaging My Bloody Valentine 3D, this title sequence delivers a collage of newspaper clippings and relevant information about Johann and the only survivor, Alice (Cynthia Chalmers). Given the ludicrous nature of the movie, it actually does the plot justice and the audience can take mental note on the information presented (just hope you don’t lose these brain cells along the way) for the climactic revelations.
On a budget of $30,000.00 USD, there are some incredible shots. Matt Frame carefully adds establishing shots that show off the beautiful forest settings, the lake, and the night that creeps in upon the camp. The gore, when utilized, is a definite nod to Raimi’s Evil Dead work and other material where hilarious bloodshed is wanted. They are fairly decent effects when done practically but that low-budget CGI does show its ugly head at certain points along the way. Personally, it adds to that aforementioned cartoon rhythm of an experience and there are far worse examples of CGI that have made the DVD market so it’s honestly done pretty well. The cinematography goes to shit once it hones back on the intentional goofiness of the characters chewing the scenery and then some drug-induced filter techniques that scream the old view-master toy on acid.
The most horrible good movie ever?
Since hitting the festival circuit in the past few months, it gained over 85 varying reviews including filmjunkie.com and reelreviews.com with screenings across North America and now in the United Kingdom. Camp Death III in 2D actually took home categorical wins including Best Comedic Actor at the Tabloid Witch Awards in Santa Monica.
At the end of the day, if it’s a mind-numbing eyesore experience you want after eating several edibles or finishing a bottle of Olde English 800 then yes, go out of your way to see this movie. I’ll take horror-comedy found in “Scream Queens” versus this concoction but that doesn’t mean this movie won’t have its audience because, remember, it’s a good film put together to be bad; created by one man, with a supportive cast and crew. Matt Frame created a modern day celluloid atrocity of the highest B-grade order. You’ve been warned!
Writers Note: This is the first time where a filmmaker reached out to me to give their film a watch and write about it. I was happy to and he was extremely patient until I had the time to sit and watch it. Please, by all means, if you have created a film or short, shoot me message or tweet and I’ll be happy to give it a view if I can.